Welcoming the lengthy mid-season break, head coach Gordon Igesund breathed a sigh of relief as his SuperSport United outfit picked up a crucial victory in their final match of the year on Sunday.
READ: Manyama: It's been tough for us.
Lebogang Manyama struck a brace as SuperSport clawed back from a goal down to beat Chippa United 2-1 in Port Elizabeth, climbing three places to 11th in the Premiership standings.
"We stuck to our game plan, and tactically the guys were very aware, and I think we deserved to win the game," Igesund said.
"It was a tough game - there are no easy games anymore in his league -and I'm so proud of the guys."
Igesund admitted injuries and suspensions had made life difficult for the former league champions after defeating Platinum Stars 3-2 in the Telkom Knockout final last month.
While he was full of praise for his "makeshift" defence, marshalled by 19-year-old goalkeeper Dumisani Msibi, Igesund was eager to have some of his first-choice players available for the second half of the league campaign.
"I'm so pleased and relieved that we're going into the break now, and hopefully all the players come back so we can regroup and get going," he said.
"After the cup final we had such bad luck with injuries and suspensions to players, but it looks like it's behind us now.
"We got a great result here, which will give the players a lot of confidence, and we'll go forward from here."
The Chilli Boys produced a dominant display in the first half, with George Akpabio giving them the lead in the 17th minute.
Manyama equalised six minutes before the break, however, and buried the winner with two minutes left in the match.
Chippa coach Roger Sikhakhane was disappointed and frustrated by his side's performance, after they took control in the early stages of a hard-fought clash.
"I think we gave it away. We were supposed to wrap the game in the first half, but our players were too casual," Sikhakhane said.
"We created a lot of chances but we couldn't convert, and that's part of the game. If you don't take your chances you end up in a situation like this."
Clinging to the top half of the table, lying in eighth place going into the seven-week hiatus, Sikhakhane warned his players they would need to step up in the new year.
"We must take things seriously if we want to move somewhere else, and my players need to rise up and raise their hands."